IMPROVING IDENTITY VERIFICATION SOLUTIONS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Despite advances in technology, such as the spread of credit cards with microchips, in 2016 more than 15 million Americans lost $16 billion as a result of identity theft.

Financial services is an area where identity verification is crucial. Financial institutions must ensure that customers are who they claim to be, but they also do not want to make the verification process very difficult and annoying for customers. Mistakenly giving a malicious actor access to a user’s bank account could result in devastating consequences. But what are customers willing to do and what should they do in order to have security? We know that today, answering a few questions and providing a password is easily hacked by sophisticated fraudsters.

Fortunately, there are a number of solutions to protect customers from fraud that are also user-friendly and fast.

Onboarding and New Account Creation

Bringing new customers on board needs to be quick and easy, but also secure in order to protect both institutions and customers. When a new bank account is opened, it’s the institution’s responsibility to verify the identity of the user. The bank must first verify that the given name and Social Security number match a real person, typically by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. Next, the bank must verify that applicants are who they claim to be by asking questions about their personal history, such as cities or streets where the applicant has lived in the past.

Financial institutions in the U.S. also need to comply with applicable security regulations when opening new accounts. “Know Your Customer” (KYC) is a policy for businesses who need to verify the identity of their clients in order to prevent crimes such as fraud, identity theft, and money laundering. KYC programs begin by collecting and verifying information about customers and checking them against a list of known criminals. Higher-risk customers have additional information collected, and their activity is monitored for potential red flags.

All of these processes can be streamlined and automated by the intake and authentication of data from a government issued ID, like a driver’s license. Authentication solutions that scan an ID, on a desktop or mobile device, can verify a credential in seconds to validate it. This then allows the institution to match the verified credential to the person. You may do this visually at a bank, or through a mobile facial recognition app that will match the photo on the ID to a selfie taken.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is a trend that is set for explosive growth in the years to come. In 2015, KPMG estimated that the number of mobile banking users would double in the next 4 years to 1.8 billion people.

This rapid growth of mobile banking makes the identity verification process even more important. Traditionally, mobile banking customers have logged onto their accounts using a username and password. In the event that they forget this information, customers need to provide data such as their Social Security number or credit card, or answer “out-of-wallet” security questions.

However, in recent years, banks have explored alternate security measures, such as biometric security. For example, many banking apps now make use of fingerprint and facial recognition technologies. In addition, some financial institutions allow users to verify their identity using their voice when they call the company’s phone number.

It is possible today to open an account and conduct all your banking without ever stepping foot in a bank, but you want to make sure that your financial institution is taking proper security measures and all the better if they are fast and easy for customers!

 

Tech Solutions for Access Control and Visitor Management

With news of massive data breaches in the headlines every other week, it’s no surprise that security threats are a growing concern for businesses. A February 2017 study by Javelin Strategy & Research found that 15.4 million Americans were the victims of identity fraud in 2016, a dramatic increase of more than 2 million people from the year before.

From glittering high-rises to government labs, security professionals want to make sure they’re letting the right people into the building. It’s extremely important for a number of industries, including education, defense and airlines, to prevent security breaches and stop the unauthorized access of sensitive information.

Fortunately, there are a number of quick and easy technology based solutions for access control and visitor management. These solutions can be used to verify the identity of individuals entering your business.

ID Authentication & Scanning

ID scanning is used to authenticate an identity document and determine whether the holder should be allowed entry into the premises. There are several types of ID scanners that verify documents in multiple ways: Some scan the ID’s barcode, while others read the ID’s magnetic stripe like a credit card, and more robust software can perform forensic tests to ensure that an ID is not forged.

Solutions such as this can be facilitated via a desktop scanner, but there are also more modern and efficient experiences via mobile apps and self-service kiosks. These are especially helpful for high traffic environments and also offer a solution for employee and personnel access monitoring in high risk buildings.

In the event of a crime or disturbance, an integrated ID scanning solution can track the history of the documents that it reads in order to identify potential suspects. Scanners allow businesses to capture information such as an individual’s name, age, gender, photograph and other identifying information, along with the date and time of access into their applications. Businesses can easily create and manage visitor logs and even use this technology to facilitate easy badge printing with accurate information. In addition, they can maintain a list of VIP or banned users among the business’s clientele to check against when an ID is scanned, alerting employees of preferred or barred status.

Biometric Security Measures

Although ID scanning is an effective way of controlling access, it doesn’t verify that the ID holder and the ID owner are the same person – after all, IDs can be stolen or fake. To do this, you’ll need to use alternate security measures. One example is biometric security, which identifies a person’s unique traits, such as in facial recognition, fingerprints, voice or eye patterns.

Biometric security measures are more secure than ID scanning because they effectively remove the chance of impersonation. They are automated and extremely quick while leaving very little room for error. Another benefit is that biometric security measures can easily be added to existing security systems that are mobile, desktop or even kiosks, in order to provide secure authentication.

No matter your environment, it does not hurt to think about simple but effective ways to be more secure.




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Improving Border Security with Better Technology Solutions: ePassports and Acuant CHIP™

Governments are increasingly turning to advanced technology like ePassports to secure their borders and its about time. Some nations like the Netherlands and Brazil use ePassports throughout their countries, but in many cases, it seems like the technology is far ahead of the adoption. With 328 ports of entry, more than 7,000 miles of borderlands and 95,000 miles of shoreline, the U.S. cannot rely on physical barricades and security checkpoints alone. ePassports that contain biometric information can be used by border security to quickly verify the identities of travelers without sacrificing accuracy.

Biometric passports include microprocessor chips that are embedded into the cover. Currently, facial, fingerprint, and iris recognition are the three types of biometric methods used in e-Passports. The chip contains a digital file of each biometric feature, and a comparison of features is performed at the time of crossing. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has detailed the specifications that machine readable travel documents should have to create standardization across countries. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to authenticate the traveler’s identity through the passport chip. PKI makes it difficult for identity thieves and other criminals to forge ePassports.

Facial recognition is another component of ePassport technology that can aid with border security. Canada is already planning to use facial recognition technology within their major airports by the end of 2017. This new technology aims to allow passengers to use self-service border kiosks to assist with clearance. As biometric identity verification becomes more reliable and commonplace, consumers can use this technology through their mobile devices or at self-service kiosks in airports.

The omnipresence of biometric technology will enable more thorough screenings in less time. Chip readers can also be used in more commercialized settings, like in the hospitality industry. International travelers can use ePassports at self-service kiosks in hotel lobbies to bypass the language barrier and check into their rooms. ePassports can expedite the check-in process for hotel guests while leaving hospitality staff free to provide more personalized service.

Our new partnership with Mount Airey Group, a provider of identity solutions to federal agencies, launches the industry’s most comprehensive authentication product that will strengthen border control by minimizing the use of fraudulent passports. Acuant CHIPTM – our chip reader technology will be a core component integrated with Mount Airey Group’s Ozone® ePassport validation product.

The comprehensive ePassport solution is designed to handle a host of issues unique to passports with individualized policies for every country, and complies with all ISO and ICAO standards. We expect demand for these solutions to grow with the continued proliferation of ePassports and chip technology for border control as well as for commercial use. The convenience of ePassports makes them optimal for airports, where long lines at security checkpoints are common. Mobilizing chip reading technology in border environments will also enhance the coverage, responsiveness, and flexibility of field operations. Biometric technology is poised to become a vital component to national security and by converging physical and digital identities through ePassports, border security can improve accuracy and effectiveness.



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Reducing Identity Fraud in the Growing Sharing Economy

The digital economy has brought about the democratization of goods and services thanks to the advancement of technology, such as increased broadband connections with high-speed. It’s also helped modernize the sharing economy to push it forward so that people can enjoy its benefits of convenience, simplicity and consumer empowerment to share almost anything from bicycles and homes to medical equipment. Even businesses are increasingly allowing their employees to take advantage of the cost savings from using ride-hailing and home rental apps. However, the rising threat of identity fraud is becoming synonymous with the growing digital economy. Discover how identity fraud affects the sharing economy and what action you can take to combat it.

Identity fraud is growing.

Identity fraud steadily increases, and technology is making it easier to do. ID fraud increased by 16 percent between 2015 and 2016, and the sharing economy is not immune. The sharing economy can provide a loophole for businesses that fail to do a thorough background check on providers or hosts of services. Moreover, ID fraud is often facilitated via technology with hacking being as simple as exploiting your enterprise’s vulnerabilities or phishing for information from consumers. These instances can potentially leave your business at risk for cyber attacks and liability suits.

ID fraud presents opportunities for “fraud-fighting” technology.

While reputation ratings have been used to help reduce fraudulent behavior, a more digital resolution is gaining popularity for being user-friendly and more secure. As a solution to circumvent identity fraud in the sharing economy, businesses are taking matters into their own hands with “fraud-fighting technology. Businesses and even governments are using biometric security technology, such as facial recognition systems and devices that detect fingerprints digitally. ID scanning or scan license technology, ID authentication and ID verification services also help to mitigate identity theft. They offer the main benefit of being able to verify people’s identities in real-time.

Final Thoughts

Despite the rising risk of identity fraud within the sharing economy, there are several solutions to address identity fraud. Sharing economy businesses can utilize these user-friendly ID verification solutions to instantly reduce fraud and protect both themselves and consumers. With Acuant, it takes less than 10 seconds to authenticate an ID, and another few seconds to match the photo on the ID to a selfie taken with our facial recognition match. Our solutions are all made to support person and card not present transactions for all operating systems that dominate the digital economy. 10 seconds can amount to saving millions of dollars.





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With Over 3 Million Transactions Monthly, Acuant Debuts New and Improved ID Capture and Facial Recognition Technology that Reduces Fraud While Being Customer Friendly

The new economy provides consumers with more ways of transacting than ever before including in-person and person-not present transactions utilizing web services, mobile devices and apps. With transactions becoming increasingly digital, comes the unfortunate rise and sophistication of identity fraud. We are in the age of the biggest data breaches of all time exposing consumer username and passwords to very skilled hackers and fraudsters at large. Identity verification solutions must be robust; businesses and consumers need to take steps to establish trust and ensure protection.

So what does it mean to protect your business from identity fraud today? And how do the solutions you chose affect your customer conversion/acceptance rates and tackle customer privacy concerns? Addressing these questions and the evolving landscape of the convergence of physical and digital identity is the focus of Acuant’s solutions.

Identifying your Level of Risk and Assurance

There is no one size fits all formula for identity verification solutions. The first step is for businesses to identify the level of risk they are willing to accept. For example, a financial institution will have more security concerns than a bike sharing app and a lower security threshold. Once you know what your level of acceptable risk is, you have determined your level of assurance or level of identity verification required. In the past, a simple password and Knowledge Based Authentication question (KBA) that asks something like “In what city were you born?” has been the standard. This is no longer sufficient for secure transactions. Today multi-factor authentication is recommended.

Multi-factor Authentication means that a user has successfully met 2 of 3 categories by presenting:

  • Something You Have (ID or Credential)
  • Something You Know (password, PIN or Answers to Questions – KBA)
  • Something You Are (Biometrics: Fingerprint, Facial Recognition, Voice)

Multi-factor Authentication

Use Cases and Considering the Customer Experience

While it is obvious that certain industries (healthcare, finance, gaming, etc.) must meet industry regulations, there is an important counterpart to consider:  customer experience. Businesses must identify the balance of security and assurance they need with the friction incurred by their customers. For example, a customer onboarding experience could be as quick and easy as scanning an ID from a mobile device or desktop scanner that will prove that an ID is not a fake. Acuant’s AssureIDTM accomplishes this in seconds using the industry’s fastest, most accurate capture technology. AssureID performs over 50 forensic tests in seconds to ensure an ID is valid. If the person is present, standing in front of an employee, this may be sufficient. Retailers, restaurants and other outlets often do a quick visual scan of ID’s, but that method is not validating an ID and does little to prevent fraud. The addition of ID scanning is a quick and easy way to add level of assurance in any environment with mobile, desktop scanner or self-service kiosk options.

What about transactions where a person is not present? These types of transactions are becoming increasingly common as people find it much more convenient transacting digitally and even use apps for things such as opening a bank account. In this instance, businesses may want a mobile capture of an ID to validate the ID and also require a biometric test such as Acuant’s FRMTM (Facial Recognition Match). Acuant FRM is as easy as taking a selfie and comparing it to extracted biometric data contained in the government issued ID.  Results are given in seconds by matching the face biometrics of a selfie to the face image on the ID and authenticating they match. In addition, Acuant FRM provides liveness detection to prevent fraudsters from using static images. This ensures that not only does the face match, but also there is indeed a live person in front of the camera. This provides two separate authentication factors and offers a higher level of assurance- that a person possesses a valid ID and that they match the photo on the ID. There may, however, be an instance where all you require is facial match for ongoing transactions such as a car sharing service app. In this instance you want to ensure the person driving the car is the one who signed up for the program by engaging Acuant FRM each time they use a vehicle. Both workflows are simple and speedy for customers.

Whether you are capturing an ID, engaging facial recognition match or both- you can be sure that Acuant provides the most user-friendly experience with the highest speed and accuracy. Acuant provides the utmost security for local, mobile and cloud services. No images or data is stored on devices, which means that customers do not have to worry about misuse of personal information with Acuant.

 

The Acuant Advantage

In addition to being a leading identity verification provider for over 20 years, Acuant possesses the largest ID document library in the industry recognizing ID’s from over 200 countries (including but not limited to passports, driver’s licenses, visas and military ID’s) which enables our unparalleled accuracy ratings. Our solutions are made for mobile and desktop environments, compatible with Windows, iOS, Android, Hybrid and HTML 5 and built to allow meeting the highest level security requirements and regulations such as KYC, PII, HIPAA and AML. Download our apps to see Acuant in action and test your selfie skills with Acuant FRM!

iOS App

Android App

HTML5

Acuant Announces Best-In-Class Data Capture and Multi-Factor Verification Solutions Addressing Rising Identity Fraud in the Digital Economy

idScan® Processes More than 3 Million Credential Based Transactions Monthly and is Part of New User-Friendly Products to Strengthen Real-Time Identity Verification

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Acuant, a leading provider of data capture and identity verification software globally, announces significant enhancements to new and core technologies building upon the acquisition of AssureTec in May 2016. New products include mobile and desktop Acuant FRMTM facial recognition and match technology and DocXTM – a real time manual review of identity documents by accredited professionals.

Acuant’s core idScan® technology provides the fastest and most accurate capture software to streamline workflows by securely extracting data from government issued ID’s including but not limited to passports, driver’s licenses, visas and military IDs. With no image or data being stored, there is no concern about storing personal information on a device, allowing companies to securely manage data accordingly.

Processing more than 3 million transactions monthly, Acuant’s idScan offers a hassle-free experience allowing scanning of ID’s from any device without the need to hold cards in a certain position, light or angle. With fully automated cropping and a new auto-select size detection feature, time is saved and user errors prevented. Auto-focus and correction coupled with the highest image quality and accuracy in the industry make idScan the premier choice in intelligent data capture for desktop scanning, mobile, and cloud services- with updates to the cloud improving speed by 25%.

Incorporating idScan’s user-friendly technology, Acuant is at the forefront of identity proofing solutions that build trust between businesses and customers and built to conform to regulatory requirements (such as Know Your Customer KYC and Personally Identifiable Information PII).

“We are past the days when two factor authentication, such as entering a password and answering a knowledge based question, is sufficient. Businesses and consumers globally want more protection, but the friction involved with instituting more steps is also a concern,” states Acuant CEO Yossi Zekri. “Technology solutions must offer robust protection against the rise of sophisticated and prevalent identity fraud- however they must also be solutions that are easily adopted and even familiar, such as taking selfies for facial recognition.”

AssureID™, Acuant’s core ID authentication and identity verification product, provides various levels of verification beginning with identifying fake ID’s in a matter of seconds utilizing the industry’s largest ID document library. The addition of Acuant FRM – facial recognition and match technology – addresses not only the need for stronger biometric based security offerings, but also the fact that many workflows are increasingly mobile or web based and even sharing economy focused.

Acuant FRM is as easy as taking a selfie and comparing it to extracted biometric data contained in the government issued ID.  Results are given in seconds reducing fraud by matching the face biometrics of a selfie to the face image on the ID and authenticating they match. In addition, Acuant FRM provides liveness detection to prevent fraudsters from using static images. This ensures that not only does the face match, but there is indeed a live person in front of the camera.

Acuant’s facial recognition works with any mobile device and OS and allows for the option of using a local camera for desktop environments. AssureID’s additional security features include geo-location services so you know where the person is scanning an ID from to flag suspicious behavior, and the ability to check against established (or custom) watch lists such as Interpol and OFAC.

Further strengthening verification offerings, Acuant now offers a manual review product DocX. DocX mitigates fraud by employing a manual review of the document in question by a verified credential expert in real time to avoid customer inconvenience and transaction delays. The expert will evaluate anomalies that automated document authentication and facial review processes identify, including the review of damaged identity documents and poor image quality when applicable.

 

 

Identity Fraud Prevention in Today’s Digital Economy

With cyber criminals becoming increasingly sophisticated and hackers making headlines regularly, it is imperative that businesses employ advanced security technology. Identity proofing is a term for identity verification that is being adopted by analysts such as Gartner. From Gartner’s study1:

Identity proofing, a process that demonstrates with sufficient confidence that the user is who he claims he is, helps to establish and maintain trust in the identity throughout the relationship.

Identity Proofing Process

Collecting and verifying information about a person, provides businesses with another layer of assurance. Financial institutions can use identity proofing to prevent financial fraud and money laundering, while ecommerce companies can rely on it to combat card-not-present fraud. And with today’s technology, businesses can ensure that their processes are user-friendly, adopting technology that users are familiar with (i.e. fingerprints and selfies for facial recognition).

According to research by Aite Group, card-not-present (CNP) fraud in the U.S. is expected to reach $7.2 billion per year by 2020. Government agencies need sophisticated identity proofing for security clearances. Identity proofing also helps organizations in the healthcare industry prevent HIPAA violations. As identity fraud becomes a concern across industries, identity proofing solutions are needed to establish trust in digital relationships.

Organizations that need to proof identities are turning to third-parties to build solutions. According to the Gartner study1, third-party solutions have come up with various options for companies to use to verify identities, including:

  1. Knowledge-based verification: In this approach, the user is asked a series of questions that they would need to know the answer to in order to confirm their identity. Examples of these questions include past mailing addresses, mortgage amounts, and lender names. Knowledge-based questions aren’t entirely secure, though, since the answers to these questions can be obtained through a hack. Back in 2015, scammers were able to steal tax refunds by figuring out the answers to these questions.

 

  1. Secondary passwords: ID proofing services can issue temporary one-time-use passwords to verify identities. Users are sent a one-time password via an “address,” like a home address or email address. They then have to enter the one-time password to verify their identities. Organizations may ask users to bind themselves to an identity associated with a known trusted online account, like their social media accounts. The risk with these other accounts is that social media profiles and email addresses can be hacked.

 

  1. Biometrics: In countries with fingerprint registries, organizations can require fingerprint scans to verify identities. However, some users may take issue with this method if they are concerned about privacy. Organizations can also use voice recognition and facial recognition to verify identities, although facial characteristics change throughout life. As biometric technology becomes more commonplace in the business environment and more accepted by consumers, industries can leverage it to ensure stronger identity security.

Proofing identities in other countries can be challenging since different countries use varying forms of government-issued IDs. According to the Gartner report1, some of the problems global companies can run into are:

  1. Social Security Numbers Create Vulnerabilities: In the U.S., citizens are often identified by their Social Security Numbers, but this method of identification doesn’t translate over into countries. Some countries also do not have official national IDs. Instead, these countries will issue out IDs for specific purposes like access to healthcare or tax collection, which may not be considered sufficient for identity proofing.

 

  1. Different Global Standards: Privacy and data protection legislation vary between countries, which limits the information identity proofing services can capture, gather, and store. This legislation can even block companies from sharing data across borders.

 

  1. Technology Verifications Often Falls Short: Technology limitations and regulations can prevent identity proofing providers from being able to conveniently verify information against government lists like registries of births, marriages, and legal permits.

Although fraud is an increasing concern for global companies, the good news is that options for solutions are also increasing with a wide range of identity proofing services that can be adjusted to fit different industries.

 

1Source Gartner Identity Proofing Is the Cornerstone of Trust in a Digital Relationship, October 2016

Five Ways to Protect yourself from Identity Theft During the Holiday Season & Beyond

Holiday season means consumers are on the prowl for perfect gifts. The problem is that identity thieves are also on the prowl and taking advantage of the busy shopping season.

In 2015 the Federal Trade Commission received over 490 thousand complaints related to identity theft, almost doubled from 2014. Identity theft and the associated spike in activity during the holidays impacts millions of people. According to the 2016 Javelin Identity Fraud report, identity theft cost consumers more than $15 billion in 2015.

The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself. Certain behaviors during the holidays leave consumers more exposed and at greater risk of identity fraud. Learn what you can do now!

    1. Conduct your Business with Institutions that Verify Identity

Taking the step online and in-person to verify an identity saves millions. Verification solutions range from fast and easy (show your valid ID) to cumbersome and time consuming (enter your password and answer 3 questions, etc.), but they are rapidly changing. It is in businesses’ best interest to adopt verification solutions that are fast and customer friendly, encouraging loyalty and trustworthy transactions. We are past the days when a password meant you were covered and manual ID checks by untrained employees were sufficient. Proper document authentication via a quick card scan, biometric matching via a selfie, fingerprint or voice to match a person to their ID- these are solutions that are available today to institutions of all industries. Find businesses that are adopting this technology.

    2. Don’t get lost in the Holidaze: Monitor Accounts & Secure your Smartphone

It’s easy to get distracted this time of year with a flurry of activities, travel and many transactions. All the more reason to be vigilant; monitor your accounts and make sure to report any unusual activity right away. Also, don’t discount the value of securing your device. As we move increasingly into a mobile world where your smartphone holds most of your life, why wouldn’t you take the time to safeguard these targets for cyber crooks? Apply software updates when they become available, use protection on Android and iOS devices, such as a passcode or biometric lock (fingerprint), and engage the ability to encrypt and remotely wipe the contents of the device in the event it is stolen.

    3. Mind the Data Breaches

One in five data breach victims suffered fraud in 2015, rising notably from one in seven in 2014. 2016 was unfortunately a banner year for data breaches. There was no shortage of major hits including the U.S. Department of Justice, LinkedIn, Snapchat and a contender for the biggest data breach to date Yahoo. Chances are, if you’ve ever had a Yahoo account, your information has been leaked.
The first step is to pay attention and update your security information on any site that has been breached. Follow instructions from the institution and keep up to date on recommended actions. Find out from the company what information was stolen, even if they tell you that your stolen information was encrypted. You might consider calling credit bureaus to alert them you are a victim of identity theft as well as banks and credit cards companies- doing so will lock your accounts and prevent further transactions.

    4. Go Private with your Wi-Fi

If we know that major companies are susceptible to hacks, you can be sure that your local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi is also a target. Best to keep any activities that require your personal and credit card information for secured internet connections only.

    5. Don’t be a Sucker for Scams

When it comes to suspicious special offers in your inbox and tempting links to click for crazy good deals, just say no. This is prime time for email phishers. Thieves are becoming more and more sophisticated using branding and names of trusted retailers to look like a legitimate source- mind the URL’s, when in doubt do not click! And never give personal information to an untrusted site or source. Scams can be related to shopping, false charities, and even utilities during the cold winter months, so be on guard!

    Identity Verification Solutions Help Businesses and Consumers to Transact with Trust

As hackers become more sophisticated, identity fraud is turning into a primary concern for consumers and companies alike. Companies should be showing consumers that they are taking measures ensure identity validation and document authentication.

Manually checking ID’s by untrained staff and comparing information from the document to the ID’s barcode doesn’t cut it today. Proper document authentication is a key investment for companies. An automated authentication solution can have multiple benefits including accurate information capture from ID’s for CMS and database management, streamlining staff workflows and preventing unintentional errors or oversights.

Companies should adopt layered approaches to identity verification: trusted authentication software to authenticate documents like driver’s licenses and passports and identity verification technology (that goes beyond passwords and knowledge-based questions that can easily be hacked) such as biometric options for facial, fingerprint and voice matching. Be sure that solutions are fast and customer friendly!